Hello friends! I think you all remember when I painted and stenciled my tile back in 2015. 2 years ago painting your tile was basically unheard of. I’m happy to report that stenciled tile has become a bit of a trend and many of you have had successful projects completed since!
If you missed my painted tile tutorial the first time, you can read it HERE! If you’re back for more and want to read about what products I used to paint and stencil my tile for round 2, then you’re in the right spot!
I get asked just about everyday how my painted tile is holding up. After 2 years (in a high traffic area) I have had a few chips and scratches (mostly very small) and one large scratch where my daughter scraped a lego back and forth to chip the paint. She can be a bit destructive. I’ll be honest though, without an intention to really scratch up the paint ( INSERT FRUSTRATED TONE), I have had very few problems. If you plan to paint your tile, I would strongly suggest thouroghly reading through my last tutorial and the comments section at the end!
I have been very happy with how my floor has held up. So much so that I painted and stenciled my hallway bathroom floor last month. (shown below)
This time I used a different product. Instead of chalk paint (which I used on my mudroom floor & shown above), I used a low luster epoxy paint…mostly used for garage floors. I really wanted to see if this would be more durable and bring you an objective opinion. Read on as I share the full tutorial on how I painted and stenciled my bathroom tile with epoxy paint! You can shop all the supplies needed for this project below!
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How to Paint & Stencil Tile
Just a quick note: Please read the full tutorial before taking on your own tile. It is very important to follow each step if you want a successful outcome! Now here is what my boring brown tile looked like before…
First We prep the tile!
I had such positive feedback from all you lovely people who embarked on this detailed DIY with me last time! Only one gal commented that her paint had peeled away and was not happy with the results. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH – PREPARATION IS KEY! It turned out she did not prep her floors at all… so lean in while I tell ya the secret to making sure your paint adheres.
1- Use 150 grit sandpaper and sand the entire floor. Its not the most pleasant sound, but It will make sure things a roughened up a bit.
2- Use a good cleaning agent like a degreaser or a product that cuts through soap scum depending on what area of the home your are prepping to paint.
3- Wash thoroughly with a wet rag and remove any hairs, dirt, dust, etc from floor.
4- Use thick blue painters tape across all your baseboard, cabinet bottoms, bath tubs, or any wall that meets your floor.
I did not photograph steps 1-3 but they are VERY IMPORTANT!
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Now we paint the base color!
Last time I painted my mudroom tile I used chalk paint. This time I used SEAL KRETE epoxy concrete & garage floor paint. I figured this would be pretty durable stuff if you can drive a car over it! It says right on the label that it resists water, oil, grease, and salt. It also resists peeling & blistering and cleans up with soap and water. I think this bathroom tile is gonna hold up just fine!
I selected the Basic White in a satin finish.
This will give the tile a flat sheen to look like all the cement tiles we love. Starting out I just painted the perimeter of the tile along all the edges with my purdy angled brush. Be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies that you might not reach with a roller. It went on pretty thin as you can see.
Using a 1/4 inch nap roller I applied the first coat of paint onto my bathroom tile. It’s still wet in the photo below. As it drys the roller marks diminish.
I let the 1st coat dry over night. Really the only time I had to work on this tile was after my kids went to bed anyway. So I just painted 1 coat per day (or night really) and let it dry in between. After 3 days (3 coats) of this, I went back over the grout lines with my angled brush.
I applied my final 4th coat of white paint on the 5th day and let it cure for a whole week while I was on a business trip with my hubs. On the label it says dry time is only 2 hours to touch, so if you wanted to bang out that base color in one day-it would totally be doable. My kids made it impossible for me – so late night painting was my solution.
When I returned home from my trip I stripped the old blue tape off the baseboards and edges using a razor blade. I always use a razor blade to remove my tape when the paint has dried. This will avoid any paint peeling off with the tape when you remove it.
Apply a fresh layer of blue tape along the same perimeter.
Now we stencil the tile!
I purchased this Augusta Tile Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. Cutting Edge Stencils totally caught on to this paint trend and came out with a whole line of tile stencils with great patterns. They have so many options to customize your project to fit right into your home style. Each tile stencil comes in 3 common tile sizes. Easy Peasy. Here is what the actual stencil looks like. For more tile stencil designs click HERE.
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In my opinion the more successful looking stenciled floors carry a pattern that lines up with the whole tile. You know you’ve got a good DIY when no one can tell its a DIY. Case and point: I get compliments on my tile all the time…when I tell them I painted it, they get down on their hands and knees and look in disbelief! Image of my painted tile mudroom below!
I chose a Charcoal gray for my stencil color. On my last tutorial, I painted a dark base with a white stencil. I really like both options. The Seal Krete epoxy paint comes in a white tint base (which I used for the base color) and a deep tint base (which I used for the stencil color). If I remember correctly Seal Krete offers around 18 tinted color options. I kept it classic with black and white though.
Using a foam roller I applied my charcoal gray paint over the stencil starting from the left and moving toward the right side of the stencil. Try to avoid going over the same areas more then twice. This will help avoid bleeding.
Bathrooms are such a fun space for a pattern floor. Just keep in mind there are a lot of nooks and crannies you’ll have to work around. I stenciled all the full tiles first and then worked my way out from there.
When I had completed all the full tiles, I let it dry overnight and returned the following night to finish the rest. You don’t want to smear all that hard work by accidentally stepping on wet paint!
Here is where it gets a bit tricky! I found that bending the stencil around corners and up walls (or toilets) really wasn’t working, so I decided to start cutting down my stencil systematically. I started with the tile that surrounded my toilet. I lined up the stencil with the grout lines and let it fold up the toilet base. Then I cut right around the toilet to get the correct shape on my stencil.
A couple notes here: Make sure your toilet is clean cause your gonna be right in there haha! Secondly, if you’re not doing a bathroom you really won’t have many obstacles like this. Just make sure if you are painting your bathroom floor that you don’t cut the stencil too small before you get all the larger tiles. Once you cut it there is no going back!
I started with the largest tiles that weren’t full size and measured them. I then cut the stencil down to the specified size and stenciled all the tiles that measured the same. See below.
This method allowed me to get precise stencil lines in all the hard to reach areas. After completing all the tiles below my vanity I then measured around my door casing and air vent. In the photo below I stenciled the tile all the way to the casing. Then I cut two smaller pieces to finish the whole pattern.
You can see I had a bit of bleeding on the above tile too. There were several places I had to go back and patch up with a foam craft brush. The more intrecate the stencil the more touch up you will likely have to do. Keep that in mind when selecting your stencil. The last pattern I did on my mudroom was a lot easier. Just keeping in 100% honest over here.
I am a bit of a perfectionist so of course I went over and above and touched up every little detail. It probably took me 4 hours of touch up time. Just be prepared this is a detailed DIY. To simplify, use a less ornate stencil pattern. I totally love this pattern though, so for me the extra time investment was worth it!
Now we seal the painted tile!
The label says the paint needs to cure for at least 72 hours before applying the sealer. I used the same Seal Krete brand – Clear Seal low gloss sealer.
Using the same 1/4 inch nap roller I used for the base coat, I applied 4 coats of the clear sealer. I let each coat dry for 24 hours before reapplying. It goes on a little spotty and almost looks bluish when wet, but it dries nicely. You can see what I mean in the photo below. It was taken just after applying the first coat. Wet.
You may find a few little hairs or pieces of dirt as you roll on the sealer. Just be sure to remove them with your finger and roll back over the clean area. If you leave it there it will dry into the sealer. No body wants a hairy floor:) Here is the finished masterpiece!
Just 2 days after completing my painted stenciled floor I had family come in town. This floor took the brunt of 15 kids in and out and several showers. I’m happy to report not even one scratch appeared!
So here is my honest opinion about the chalk paint method vs the Epoxy paint method. I really feel they are both valid options and you could use either one. If you are considering a bathroom (and shower surround like I will be doing), I would use the epoxy paint for sure. I just think it will end up being more durable and water resistant. If you are painting a different area, I would do which ever medium your more comfortable with. I have only lived with the epoxy painted floor for a month so it really is hard for me to say which one is stronger, but I will sure let you know how this floor holds up. In the mean time, be sure to carefully read though both tutorials before starting this project.
I hope this tutorial motivates you to take a chance and get creative with the boring tiles in your home! The patterned cement tiles are expensive, so painting and stenciling tile is a very affordable way to get the same fun look. If you love it, please pin the image below! Pin it so you don’t forget it as I always say!
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